Biology, the study of life, contributes broadly to human welfare in areas such as medicine, biotechnology, agriculture, the environment, and the food industry.
The biologists in the Department of Biology work together to integrate their individual disciplines into a unified course of study that is focused on meeting students’ needs and exposing students to the various aspects of fields of biology.
We offer majors in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Health Science and also offer courses that can be used towards a major in General Science, a biology minor, or as your General Education requirements. We also offer courses for students enrolled in nursing, physical education and midwifery.
MRU Biology in the News
Click this link to hear a CBC interview with Alex Farmer (Department of Biology) on the latest neonicotinoid pesticide ban and its effects on some of our native pollinators.
Exploring Parks and Protected Areas -- Dr. Dorothy Hill, Department of Biology, took a group of students to Scotland to explore sustainability and land management practices. The students compared how Scotland's practices differ from the management of Canadian Parks and Protected. This field school provided students with hands-on experiential learning and enabled students to collect the theory they learn in classes to the application of these practices. Watch the video in this article to hear more about the students' experience and what they learned from this course.
Mount Royal University highlights the success of students in the Faculty of Science and Technology -- And, they are all in Biology! -- Are you interested in hearing about the successes of some of our recent graduates? Mount Royal University has just published a story that highlights Biology students that are starting this fall in graduate school, medical school and veterinarian schools. To read the entire article, click here.
Supporting bees and butterflies with Calgary's new pollinator program -- Alex Farmer, Department of Biology, is helping the Calgary community with its new pollinator program by helping to install beds of native plant species along Canyon Meadows Drive. Alex will be assisting not only with the initial set-up but will be collecting data to assess the influence of this project on the diversity of pollinators in Calgary. For more information, read the CBC News article here.
Citizens science in Calgary -- Dr. Sarah Hewitt, Department of Biology, just published an article for Swerve Magazine that explores some of the different citizen science projects that are taking place in Calgary. She discusses the importance of engaging the community in scientific research and describes some of the different ways that everyday citizens contribute scientific information. To read the full article, click here.Evidence clearly supports ban on off-highway vehicles in Castle parks, says MRU scientist -- Dr. Jonathan Mee was one of many scientists that signed a letter in support of a ban of off-highway vehicles in the Castle Wilderness area. Dr. Mee has studied the endangered westslope cutthroat trout in this area and recognizes the sensitive habitat that is threatened by the presence of OHV use. To listen to his interview on CBC Calgary Eyeopener, click here.
Biology in the Community
November 2017: Have you picked up the latest copy of MRU's Summit Magazine? The Research Snapshots section (sorry, only available in the print version) highlights some of the work of faculty members in the Department of Biology. Dr. Robin Owen's research on uncovering the cause of bee declines, and Alex Farmer's work on the problems with urban bee keeping are mentioned, along with Dr. Ana Colina's review of the role of wastewater facilities and their influence on antibiotic resistance. Finally, the article also profiled Dr. Melanie Rathburn's research on the best practices to maintain amphibian diversity and abundance in Calgary's wetland habitats.
September 2017: In a collaborative project with Wildlife Preservation Canada, Alex Farmer (Department of Biology) spent the summer studying pollinator species diversity in Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park. Over the past decade, many populations of native bees like the Western bumblebee (pictured here) have been declining and this research is essential to assess the health of Alberta native bee populations. As part of this research, Ms. Farmer also provided some amazing field experience for three different Mount Royal University students.
August 2017: Urban wetlands are an important part of the ecosystem and this past summer, Dr. Melanie Rathburn (Department of Biology) and her student research assistant, Alyce Straub, examined wetlands along Calgary’s greenbelt pathway system to determine their ability to support amphibian biodiversity. This work is a collaborative project with the conservation organization, the Miistakis Institute and was funded by the Mount Royal Institute for Environmental Sustainability. Dr. Rathburn and Alyce Straub traveled to Portland, Oregon and presented their research findings at the annual conference of the Ecological Society of America.
June 2017: Dr. Trevor Day (Department of Biology) and his team of researchers, which included ten Mount Royal students, safely returned from a successful research expedition to Nepal. Dr. Day was conducting studies on the effects of hypoxia (low oxygen) on the human body. Their group trekked 5300 metres and made it to Everest Base Camp to research the effects of hypoxia.